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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Diagnosed with PFO. Fainted, reason? Why headaches, lightheaded, palpitations. Related to?

My son is 13 yrs old. He was diagnosed with a PFO a few years ago, which we didn t have any knowledge, as we are trying to figure out the reason of him fainting a few times and battle migranes for over 3 years. The symptoms seem to come and go in the past however this time they don t seem to go away. He has been complaining of dizziness , tiredness, lightheaded, headaches , fast palpitations while at rest and a sharp pain on the left side of the chest while exercising. As simple as fast walking from the front door to the mailbox seems to be pretty painful. The first time we went to the cardiologist he told us that having a PFO should not cause any trouble at all in his normal every day tasks. Our son is very athletic, eats healthy and sleep well. We had gone through this path previously and we always get dismissed assuring us that he is fine. Should I listen to my instinct and look into this matter a bit further? I feel that there is something that we are missing out of the picture. Thanks
Mon, 1 Oct 2012
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Internal Medicine Specialist 's  Response
Dear friend, welcome to HCM!

I think you are correct.
A PFO may remain asymptomatic for long.
But his symptoms are definitely cardiac and may be due to worsening of shunt through PFO.
and warrants urgent evaluation.

Does he turn bluish when symptomatic? Cyanosis (bluish tongue, fingers, earlobes etc) indicate low oxygenation with reversal of shunt across PFO.

When was the last 2D echo done?
A doppler/ echo will definitely pick up complications of PFO and ASD with reversing shunt.

If you feel, may take a second opinion and go to a good tertiary care haert centre / university hospital with paediatric cardiac surgical facility.

Get labs, echo/doppler and ECG done and seek paediatric cardiology consult.
Do not neglect.

Take care and please keep me informed of your progress.
Good Luck!
I hope to have answered your query satisfactorily.
Thank you!
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Diagnosed with PFO. Fainted, reason? Why headaches, lightheaded, palpitations. Related to?

Dear friend, welcome to HCM! I think you are correct. A PFO may remain asymptomatic for long. But his symptoms are definitely cardiac and may be due to worsening of shunt through PFO. and warrants urgent evaluation. Does he turn bluish when symptomatic? Cyanosis (bluish tongue, fingers, earlobes etc) indicate low oxygenation with reversal of shunt across PFO. When was the last 2D echo done? A doppler/ echo will definitely pick up complications of PFO and ASD with reversing shunt. If you feel, may take a second opinion and go to a good tertiary care haert centre / university hospital with paediatric cardiac surgical facility. Get labs, echo/doppler and ECG done and seek paediatric cardiology consult. Do not neglect. Take care and please keep me informed of your progress. Good Luck! I hope to have answered your query satisfactorily. Thank you!